Wednesday, June 11, 7 PM
Deafheaven, Pallbearer, Wreck & Reference @ The Canal Club – $15 (order tickets HERE)
Ohhhhhh my god, y’all, the band that released my favorite album of 2013 is playing here tonight, and I could not be more stoked!
Wednesday, June 11, 7 PM
Deafheaven, Pallbearer, Wreck & Reference @ The Canal Club – $15 (order tickets HERE)
Ohhhhhh my god, y’all, the band that released my favorite album of 2013 is playing here tonight, and I could not be more stoked! There are always questions in my life as to whether or not I will be able to dig myself out from under my always-titanic workload in order to get to a weeknight show, but for once I do not care. Deafheaven is in Richmond, I will be there, and you should be too.
For those not already familiar, the deal with Deafheaven is that they’re a bunch of ex-hardcore kids from San Francisco who started a black metal band several years ago and integrated a bunch of their hardcore, indie, and shoegaze influences into their take on the traditionally-Scandinavian genre. This has led some purists to denounce the band as a hipster/poser crew of wannabes, and I guess if you’re the sort of person who just can’t stand to listen to black metal that doesn’t involve corpsepaint and flirtation with neo-Nazi imagery, that might bother you, but personally, I find their sound original and invigorating. The way they combine traditional black metal tropes like blastbeats, high-pitched screams, and tremolo picking with major chord melodies, quiet instrumental passages, and emotionally centered lyrics (that never express even the vaguest right-wing ideology) makes them a fascinating listen, and their intense live performances make tonight’s show a true must-see.
Another reason this is a can’t-miss show is the presence of Pallbearer on the bill. The Arkansas doom metal merchants who’ve wowed everyone from metal kingpins Decibel to the indie rockers over at Pitchfork–and they’ve even managed to bypass my own recent one-man backlash against doom metal (sorry, I’m just bored with it) to win me over with riffs so slow, crawling, and spaced-out that they are flat-out apocalyptic. This band is more like OM than Saint Vitus, and I’m 100% into that. With Wreck & Reference’s post-metal noise in the opening slot, this show is a guaranteed pummeling from start to finish. And who doesn’t need that kind of thing on a Wednesday night?
Wednesday, June 11, 8 PM
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, DJ Toxic Rainbow, Synthetic Nightmare, Low On Sanity @ Fallout – $20 (order tickets HERE)
But I suppose some people would rather spend their Wednesday night getting whipped instead of pummeled. I can respect that, and what’s more, if that’s you, I have the perfect remedy for your affliction. Tonight at Fallout, the notorious members-only fetish/goth club in Shockoe Bottom, industrial legends My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult will be in the house. Part of the game-changing Wax Trax explosion that occurred in Chicago in the 80s, which was spearheaded by Ministry, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult distinguished themselves from their contemporaries with emphasis on occult themes, psychedelic disco sounds, and overt sleaze.
Notorious for their wild stage shows, the band has done some things so shocking I hesitate to even describe them here (wikipedia has the details)–and you can rest assured that the band will be able to indulge their passion for outrageousness to the fullest at Fallout. DJ Toxic Rainbow is My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult’s touring partner, and VA-based industrial acts Synthetic Nightmare and Low On Sanity will kick off the show. So whether you’re “Sex On Wheels” or just wanna hang out with the people who are, head down to Fallout tonight for a surefire good time.
Thursday, June 12, 8 PM
Quiet Company, Driver Friendly, Leader @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
OK, you guys have got to realize by now that I’m kinda obsessed with the “emo revival,” which is basically a real-life example of me living long enough for the kind of music that I loved when I was a teenager to come back into fashion. INTO IT. Anyway, this show is an example of a particular subset of the emo revival–the one where the bands have horns. I know, I know, but I promise this is not anything to do with any combination of folk-punk and “world music”; it’s got nothing to do with ska either, for that matter. Instead, Austin’s Quiet Company have found a way to write amazingly catchy and emotionally-driven songs that mingle trumpets and trombones into their Jimmy Eat World-style riffs. They’ll occasionally do a song in waltz time, but I can forgive them that when epics like “Everything Louder Than Everything Else” are also in their repertoire.
Driver Friendly also hail from Texas, and also involve horns in their sound. And to tell the truth, while I like Quiet Company, it’s these guys who really make me excited to see this show. Their self-released 2012 album Bury A Dream kinda sank without a ripple, but my pal Brad Nelson shouted them out last year in one of those emo revival trendpieces that were everywhere six months ago, and that was enough for me. Some of the highlights from Bury A Dream, such as “Ghosts” and “Messidona,” were reissued on Peaks & Valleys, the EP Driver Friendly released on Hopeless Records last year, and thank god for that. Plus, they’ve got an album called Unimagined Bridges out next month, so I look forward to getting a first listen to some of their new material–which I fully expect to rule–at The Camel tomorrow. Local indie rockers Leader, who appear NOT to have horns in their band (but we won’t hold that against them) open up.
Friday, June 13, 9 PM
SoMoS, Runaway Brother, Lions For Dinner, Fibula @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Two emo shows at The Camel in a row? That’s right y’all, dealwithit.gif. This is the shit I like right here. SoMoS are a band from Boston who just released their debut full-length, Temple Of Plenty, on Tiny Engines, and the album’s clean but gorgeous riffing and spectacular vocals by bassist Michael Fiorentino help to sink their tunes right into your brain, where they’ll lodge all day/all week/until further notice. This is catchy stuff, with the melodic sense of Braid mixed with the driving energy of Lifetime. I for one am way into it. You should be too, TBH.
Cleveland’s Runaway Brother are also on the bill, and while they have a bit more of a garage-pop sensibility (think Ted Leo’s 90s band, Chisel), they’re also able to dish out the catchy choruses with aplomb, as they prove on new single “Summer/Autumn,” which came out last month. These guys will get you dancing for sure. Locals Lions For Dinner and Fibula open up, and while I don’t know much about these bands, it’s always nice to catch some new local talent–and the touring bands will be more than worth the price of admission.
Saturday, June 14, 5 PM
Dave Brockie & Cory Smoot Tribute Show, feat. Kepone, Occultist, Humungus, Pottymouth, Kung Fu Dykes, US Bastards, Druglord, Creep-A-Zoids, TheBurial, Bloody Crackdown, Rebellem, Rigor Mortis Revue @ The Canal Club – $15 (order tickets HERE)
It’s sad to see such a jam-packed bill of metal and punk talents from RVA and beyond coming together for such a sad occasion. Come to think of it, we’ve had a bit too much of that lately. Hopefully this is the last RVA memorial show we have to see for a long time. Nonetheless, considering that Dave Brockie basically laid the groundwork for everything that came afterwards in the Richmond punk and metal scene, and that Cory Smoot was a world-class talent taken from us far too soon, tribute must be paid to both of these fallen members of our scene. And there’s no better lineup to do so than this one, for many many reasons.
The happily-reunited Kepone headlines the whole thing, and former (and future?) GWAR member Michael Bishop will lead his melodic math-rock trio through a selection of their greatest tunes. From there we’ve got everything from the blackened thrash of Occultist to the crushing sludge of Druglord, plus young rock n’ roll punks the Creep-A-Zoids and raging thrash maniacs Humungus. Then there’s the antics of of dayglo lesbians the Kung Fu Dykes and military-parodist punks Bloody Crackdown, plus a whole bunch more bands and the horror-burlesque talents of the Rigor Mortis Revue… it’s all happening over the course of 8 hours at The Canal Club this Saturday, so get set for an all day party and come celebrate the lives of a couple of truly unique RVA talents!
Sunday, June 15, 6 PM
The Diamond Center, Ancient River, Father Sunflower And The Golden Rays, projections by Lord Candy Dish, soundscapes by Revolt Of The Apes @ Gallery 5 – $6
Are you keeping up with The Diamond Center? This local quartet likes to soak stages around town in clouds of fog, mysterious lighting displays, and of course plenty of sun-baked psychedelic haze. If Mazzy Star and The Dream Syndicate saw the ghost of The Velvet Underground during a desert-dwelling vision quest (which I’d think would have to involve peyote and sweat lodges), the results they’d lay down in the studio once they wandered back to civilization might be somewhere close to the kind of spaced-out epics the Diamond Center come up with on a regular basis.
That’s one reason to keep up with them. The other reason is that these days, The Diamond Center tend to only play a local show when some awesome psychedelic band from elsewhere in (or outside of) the United States is coming through town. So if you see The Diamond Center’s name at the top of the bill, rest assured that the band right under them is some awesome lysergically-fueled crew that you may not have heard about but are absolutely worth seeing. That legacy continues with this current Diamond Center show, which also features Florida’s Ancient River. This two-piece mingles Americana influences into an acoustic/electric psych hybrid that betrays a heavy dose of late 60s SoCal in their background. They also manage to conjure up that one amazing acoustic album Black Rebel Motorcycle Club made a decade or so ago–which is a lost classic as far as I’m concerned. I know nothing about Father Sunflower And The Golden Rays, but that band name is awesome enough that I’d recommend showing up early for this one on that basis alone.
Monday, June 16, 6 PM
Modern Baseball, Tiny Moving Parts, The Hotelier, Sorority Noise, First Class Liar, Thanks @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Does anyone else think the Descendents are getting a little long in the tooth to retain their role as official voice of lonely teenage pop-punk fans everywhere? They still command huge audiences when they play out, and have headlined plenty of recent pop-punk festival bills, but can today’s teenager really relate to a bunch of dudes who were in high school when punk rock was invented in the late 70s? Bear with me, I’m making a point here. Which is: Modern Baseball just might be today’s Descendents. Their new album, You’re Gonna Miss It All, makes the point for me quite effectively, from “Broken Cash Machine”‘s opening line (“Home alone on a Friday night”) to frustrated, unrequited love songs like “Fine, Great.” But the best reason is just how great their upbeat riffing and catchy choruses really are–see recent single “Your Graduation.” Somebody’s gotta sing the songs for lonely young punks to cry to in their bedrooms and sing along to in the front rows, and these guys sure have the chops to pull it off.
So come out to The Camel on Monday night, stand in the front row with all the excited kids, and get ready to sing along. While you’re there, enjoy the other great bands on this jam-packed bill–like the twinkly yet excitable emo-punk of Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts, or the up-and-coming Massachusetts crew The Hotelier. This band are in the process of knocking a lot of socks off this year as their latest album, Home, Like Noplace Is There, slowly works its way towards sleeper-of-the-year status. Then there’s the Broken World-affiliated Connecticut crew Sorority Noise, plus VA-based openers First Class Liar and Thanks. All that for $10? You should say thanks!
Tuesday, June 17, 9 PM
Axxa/Abraxas, Mainland, The Welcome Hips, Black Water Gold @ Strange Matter – $8 in advance/$10 day of show (order tickets here: http://axxa.eventbrite.com/)
And to the indie faithful in the audience, don’t think I forgot about you–this one just had to wait til the end, because it’s six whole days from now. But the arrival of Captured Tracks recording artist Axxa/Abraxas to the stage at Strange Matter should be well worth the wait. 23-year-old Ben Asbury started this project as a bedroom recording experiment, producing lo-fi pop by himself at first before stepping things up to a full band for his debut album. He’ll be touring with a full band behind him, helping to recreate the organ-driven 60s garage-psych catchiness of his self-titled Captured Tracks album live onstage at Strange Matter–and if you’re not getting down and boogie-ing to tunes like “I Almost Fell” and “Going Forth,” I’m going to be a little worried about you.
Brooklyn’s Mainland will be along for the ride as well. These guys just dropped a 10 inch EP called Shiner, the title track of which is a real banger, and their catchy tunes should delight anyone who’s down with Axxa/Abraxas, so what you’re really getting here is a double dose of great garage pop. That’s not to mention the local support from The Welcome Hips and Black Water Gold, the former of which will bring you lo-fi pop awesomeness from ex-members of The Kindling Kind, and the latter of which have some pensive, soulful acoustic indie rock sounds to offer. It’s going to be a great night for dancing away your cares–so go do that!
Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: [email protected]